Back to Business Basics

Back to Business Basics

Think about your daily routine, you might stop at a coffee shop in the morning, perhaps you workout at the gym in the afternoon or go for dinner with friends in the evening. Every place that you visit, and every business you connect with during that day, exists because of an idea and an entrepreneur. Whether that entrepreneur comes from a family of business owners, or is starting out on their own with no previous experience, running their business requires a set of key skills. But what are the skills you need and how do you acquire them?

Business is about supply and demands. Midwives are in demand. An increasing number of US families are turning to midwives for their maternity care despite systemic, social, and cultural barriers. Saraswathi Vedam, FACNM, “We have a generation of consumers now who are socialized that they should have a voice in making decisions about their own healthcare. In previous generations it was more normative to give control about healthcare decisions to the provider.”

“Another increase in midwifery services is in people who’ve had negative experiences in birth — or have been with family or a friend and witnessed something that scared them — and they don’t want the loss of bodily autonomy,” says Colleen Donovan-Batson, CNM. When there is a demand, business open up and provide services consumers are looking for. Home birth practices and birth centers are opening daily all across the country. Be part of the monumental changes happening. Learn about business basics to open your dream practice!

Your Key Business Skills

Running a midwifery practice often requires that you become a jack-of-all-trades. It is therefore important to know early on the skills that you have and those that you will either have to learn or delegate to others. The key business skills to consider include:

  • Strategic Management. Creating a business and strategic plan for your business and making sure you keep to it. What do you want your practice to look like?
  • Basic Accounting. Which records to keep, how to keep them and how to file them. If math wasn’t your strength in high school, hire an accountant.
  • Financial Management. Where to find financing and how to manage it once you’ve sourced it. Quick Books is great for midwife practices just starting out.
  • People Management. Hiring your first employee and how to manage them. Midwives are only good as the team around them. Your birth assistants, receptionists, Office Manager, and Medical Assistants are key to your success, prevention of professional burnout, and branding image as best midwifery practice in town!
  • Marketing. How to market your business through traditional channels, web and social media. “You can have the next best thing from sliced bread, but if no one even knows you exist, DOESN’T MATTER!” Get your name out on social media, expos, community businesses, and family outings. Talk all the time about your midwifery practice and services. Don’t be shy to brag about your midwifery talents.
  • Sales. How to complete a sale and look after your clients. Repeat customers for multiple births is much easier to care for than all new families each and every year. Happy women will rave about your kind, compassionate care. Let them cut your marketing budget in time to almost nothing. Referrals are worth their weight in gold.
  • Operations Management. Choosing and managing your suppliers. Know what inventory is needed with start up and monthly replacement. Understand best places to get good deals for high quality equipment. Manage your spending wisely and use items resourcefully. Money saved is money earned!

When considering the skills that you lack there are three avenues you can take: you can hire employees who are strong in those specific areas, you can engage professional business advisors, or you can take the time to learn these key skills yourself. I personally like hiring a team of great resources than learning everything myself. Time is a precious resource and I like utilizing other people’s talents to accelerate my business success. Spend the time to learn business and how to smoothly operate a midwifery practice. Your wealth will be great. Your stress will be less with preparation and knowledge.